Councils are bracing themselves for an onslaught of illegal dumping today as Britain's householders struggle to get rid of discarded Christmas waste.
Dubbed Fly Tipping Friday, experts believe that January 5 is the country's biggest day for illegal dumping of unwanted goods and discarded rubbish.
Confusion over irregular festive bin collections also leads to desperate disposal of unwanted goods and rubbish - often at night.
Experts from Junk Hunters have warned that the first Friday of the New Year could see huge amounts of fly tipping as households try to clear their homes of packaging, leftovers, decorations and even Christmas trees.
Homes may also be overstuffed after shopping in the post-Christmas sales, especially if they made large purchases such as furniture or white goods and are still waiting for the old ones to be taken away.
According to the latest Government figures, from 2016-17 there were over a million fly tipping incidents in England alone.
This led to a total clearance cost of over £57.5 million, although offenders were fined a total of nearly £723,000.
Fly tippers often do their illegal dumping at night time, and are likely to wait until the end of the working week.
The team at Junk Hunters have urged householders not to succumb to the temptation to fly tip, and called upon councils to offer additional services around the festive period.
CEO of Junk Hunters Harsha Rathnayake said: “It’s not just the packaging and gift wrap – there are used crackers, cards, table and wall decorations, food leftovers, even Christmas trees to get rid of.
“Or maybe you’ve bought a lot of stuff in the sales and now there isn’t room for everything – it can be hard to judge how much space you’ve got and it does happen.
“Coupled with the late or reduced council collection services, it can get very stressful and people may be tempted to take their rubbish and just dump it somewhere quiet – but they really, really mustn’t.
“Fly tipping is illegal for a reason – it’s dangerous, unsightly, terrible for the environment and it costs councils tens of millions of pounds a year to clean up and they’re cash-strapped enough already.
“We’ve got a hotline on 0800 233 5865 for people to call if they’re tempted to fly tip and we can offer help and guidance on how to manage. It’s never necessary to dump illegally.
“Councils have a responsibility to provide adequate waste removal services, but households can prepare themselves.
“It’s worth looking into whether your local council is offering any additional collection services around the holiday season, as many of them do.”